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5 Steps You Should �e Ta�ing to Protect Your �usiness YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY CAN AFFECT short in another area; properly storing and disposing of confidential employee information. It is vital that you are following legal procedures YOUR PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS with collecting, retaining, and securely disposing of the confidential

You’ve done it! You are now a business owner. But what’s next? The time and financial investment you have put into making your dream a reality is extremely valuable. So, what steps should you be taking to ensure your small business is protected? The following steps will help your business operate legal and hassle free.

In today’s society, we are constantly drawn to share 1. What You Say and Do Matters! In today’s world, transparency, andpost honesty are itvital for our lives with the world.authenticity, If we didn’t it, did really building loyalty with your customer base. Honesty and integrity start happen? Social media is used to share a highlight with your culture and how you foster that throughout your business’s reelDeveloping of everything thatvision is occurring in our lives. growth. a clearpositive mission and that are supported with core Very valuesrarely are important components to shared building that a strong culture. do we see anything would ruin These values should govern your behaviours that filter down to your our picture perfect social channels and give a glimpse employees and impact the customer service and perception of your company. Holding yourself, your employees accountable to into anything that is and really going on. What many do thesenot standards will is help ensure a strongcould culturebe is built. realize, that sharing detrimental to claim. law isfirm, In a your digitalpersonal age, yourinjury presence on Your social community media platforms an essential of growth andto sustainability. But these can impact quickly CBMaspect Lawyers, is here provide insight on the become detrimental the have platforms notclaim. managed effectively. The social media ifcan on are your social channels you utilize to engage with your customers are micromonitored by millions of web users who will jump at the opportunity to beIfaYou whistleblower. Understanding to Find developIt a strong and Share It, ANYONEhow Can loyal culture, while properly managing your brand’s social channels, will help mitigate any issues of what you say or do being held against you. The reality is that it does not take a private investigator to find you online. A simple Google search can reveal

2. Get Insurance much about an individual. ICBC and Defence lawyers This may seem like common sense; however, it is something many very or not anything pushcan aside. Thequickly policies discover included inwhether liability insurance will help provide defense and media damages if you, your employees, or your in your social might contradict your personal products or services are faced with any legal claims. Before deciding injury claim. as to which ensure policy is the right fit for your business, it is important to understand the risks your business could encounter. As your business progresses in its life cycle, you must consider the new What Does This Mean? risks you will face and reassess your insurance policy to ensure it aligns with your business functions and the industry you are operating within. What you share matters! Your Facebook, Instagram,

Twitter, platforms can potentially be 3. Protect Yourand Filesany (andother Your Ideas!) used as evidence against claim. The context Let’s face it, your ideas are invaluable! your They are what inspired you to start behind this venture, what is motivated you to keep going. and Ensuring the and posts often not explained, the these ideas are protected is crucial. Whether you are backing up your assumptions and conclusions drawn from them may files within a cloud service, or using a local database, taking the time to implement proceduresagainst is extremely be usedthese as evidence you.important. In addition to ensuring ideas and corporate files are protected, many seem to fall

information you are collecting. Failure to do so could lead to you and your business facing some unwanted legal challenges.

The Rules 4. Legally Separate Yourself from Your Company

If you are providing goods or services for a chance of profit or loss, you are considered to be operating a business. Many do not recognize The simplest solution is to avoid using social media that they may be running a “business”, so they have not yet formalized altogether a Personal Injury claim. it legally. Thewhile way inpursuing which you decide how to structure the business you will are operating, will unnecessary determine how assets will you be distributed This help avoid hurdles would and who owns them.

otherwise have to face during the investigation. If this isWhen not a you realistic solution, ask run the business byyourself yourself, before withoutyou any post: partners or withoutI the distinct legal of a corporation, you areto operating would want ICBC to entity see this? It is important take as a “sole proprietorship.” This is the simplest and most basic form of an into consideration a third party would interpretare one organization. As a solehow proprietorship, you and your business and the All responsibility of debts and other obligations will lie what yousame. are sharing. solely on you. Although this identifies a clear disadvantage, there are also benefits to operating as a sole proprietorship. It is affordable to

Not is itmaintain important take into consideration what from set only up and and to provides a large degree of freedom government and other alongalso with other tax advantages. you are sharing, butregulation you must pay attention to what those around you are sharing. Your friends When you choose to incorporate under the the Business Corporations and needColumbia, to be aware youadocorporation. not want Once Act family of British you that become incorporated, the business is now as awhile completely anything shared about you onunder theiroperation platforms separate and distinct legal entity. This means that you can create a you are pursuing your injury claim. new name for this separate entity that will have the ability to take out loans, sue and be sued, and enter into contracts on its own. There is

very Bottom limited liability as a corporation. No shareholders of a corporation The Line are held personally liable for the debts and obligations beyond the amount paid for its shares. Understanding the structure in which your

business operates is an important step topotentially take to ensure you are Careless use of social media could have smart decisions to legally separate yourself from your assets a making significant impact on the result of your personal when pursuing your venture. injury claim. With proper guidance, your case can be 5. Hire a Trusted pursued withoutLawyer the unnecessary hurdles that would Last, but of course not least, it is crucial to have trusted legal advice have otherwise occurred. on standby to ensure you are being proactive with the actions you take. Ongoing legal support throughout the growth of your business

ensures you are taking the rightCBM steps toLawyers, protect yourtoday company Contact Langley’s own, toand its assets. Should any legal action be taken against you and your ensure you have the right guidance throughout business, the correct reaction is crucial. An attorney that is familiar with personal your business and understands the environment in which your your injury claim! company operates, will be your best Visit www.cbmlawyers.com toinvestment. learn more.

what should do about socialLawyers media? with more than 19 years experience practicing business and real ScotSo, t Johnston, is ayou Partner at CBM estate law. Scott advises clients on corporate/commercial, commercial real estate, residential purchase and sale, mortgages and leases, banking and secured lending.

Whats On! • www.whatsonlangley.ca

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